Seismic Waves - Day 2

Print Lesson


Students will learn about the four kinds of seismic waves and the damage they cause to the surface of the earth.

Big Idea

Students will learn how damage is caused by an earthquake.

RAP - Review and Preview

5 minutes

I call students to the gathering area. I ask them to recall the different seismic waves that we learned about in the last lesson. Students tell me there were P and S waves, Rayleigh and Love waves. We talk about the different damage the different waves might create.

I tell students that we will do some further investigation of seismic waves and their properties today.

Independent Investigation

30 minutes

Students complete two activities today. Students imitate seismic waves on a strip of jello. Students also walk through a seismic wave tutorial to see how seismic waves move through the earth’s layers.

  1. Seismic Waves Tutorial. Students work together or individually to walk through the Seismic Tutorial. Students take notes and make drawings as necessary as they complete this task.
  2. Students use a strip of jello made from forming jello in a 13X11 pan. Students place a house on the jello. This house is made from three small pieces of cardstock made into a “house of cards” on top of the jello.
    1. Students make Love waves by shaking the jello gently from side-to-side.
    2. Rayleigh waves are made by poking the top of the jello repeatedly.

       Students observe and record what happens to their house on the jello. Did the house move in a        different manner? 

Wrap Up

5 minutes

I call students back to the gathering area. We talk about how seismic waves move through the earth’s layers. We also talk about the different damage that we observed on the jello surface of the earth.